Only Jio And BSNL Gained Subscribers On-year In 2019: Trai data


Reliance Jio and state-run Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) were the only telcos that registered an on-year growth in subscribers base in 2019 while the other telcos–Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel lost subscribers, Trai data revealed.

Jio added 90.9 million customers in 2019 to take its overall base to 371.1 million at the end of December, while BSNL recorded a growth of 1.5 per cent y-o-y at 127.7 million. Jio also became the first Indian telco to amass over 400 million in the month of July 2020.

As per Trai data, Vodafone Idea lost the highest number of subscribers and its base plunged by 20.6 per cent year-on-year to 333 million in 2019, while Airtel’s base declined 3.7 per cent at 331.6 million. The loss of millions of subscribers has continued for Vodafone Idea in 2020, with the strugglish telco losing wireless users for the tenth straight month in August. However, the loss in August narrowed versus the previous months hit by covid-led disruptions.

According to Trai data, Airtel added more wireless customers to its network than Reliance Jio in August as the economy continued to reopen post the nationwide lockdown. Airtel added 2.9 million customers in August, while Jio signed up 1.9 million subscribers.

India’s telecom sector, in the efforts of enabling policies including more quantum of the spectrum, is set to establish new benchmarks in the next-generation network deployments and service delivery.

“Private telecom service providers hold 89.5 per cent market share of total wireless telephone subscriptions and PSUs (BSNL & MTNL (Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd)) hold only 10.6 per cent market share of wireless telephone subscription as of December 2019,” Trai said.

Trai said of the total Vodafone Idea subscribers, 51.8 per cent were from rural areas, followed by Airtel at 43.9 per cent. Reliance Jio, which only provides 4G services, had 41 per cent of rural subscribers as of December 2019.

The government’s adjusted gross revenue (AGR) clocked a 6.1 per cent y-o-y rise in 2019 to Rs 1.53 trillion, Trai data showed. Licence fee increased 5.5 per cent to Rs 12,279 crore, while spectrum usage charge was at Rs ₹4,546 crore in 2019, up 8.6 per cent from a year ago.

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